Grad Portfolio (ENV-605-01) 2014 Spring


Course description

The Graduate Portfolio class seeks to develop portfolios that are competitive in today’s complex design industry.  Approaches for design portfolios are changing dramatically.  A design portfolio used to be a comprehensive printed book, but formats of portfolios are changing with innovation in digital media.  A design portfolio can be output as printed book, digital slides, web, or movies.  Knowing what medium is appropriate for the targeted goal is very important.

In pursuit of professional positions, students are responsible to showcase a wide range of skills that are sought by design companies.  Each student is asked to do extensive research of a desired office, in terms of design style, skills, and attitude.  Tuning your portfolio to present yourself as an appropriate candidate is a very effective way to be noticed by potential employers.

A portfolio should express the way you see the world.  It is a reflection of your personal voice, which distinguishes you from other candidates. This class will focus on the analysis of your work and to discover a personalized design strategy and philosophy. The aim is to establish meta-design graphic systems to clarify your overall design vision through your portfolio.

At the end of the term, students are expected to produce a target-specific design portfolio, which is a reflection of you as a distinct designer using different media types.


  1. Collect all works from ENV program as well as your previous experience
  2. Analyze your works and create a personal statement / manifesto
  3. Build an editing system and overall design language
  4. Create a desired job / studio list
  5. Create a personal brand
  6. Output media specific portfolio based on specific goals


  1. Comprehensive bound book
  2. 4 page PDF work sample
  3. Website
  4. Business Cards

Course Outline 


W01         Self Analysis

  • Present everything that students have produced at Grad ENV program
  • Find personal design style and philosophy

W02         Dream Job

  • Present your dream office’s works
  • Discuss how your skills and knowledge can contribute to the practice

W03         Media strategy

  • Print / Digital / Web / Movie
  • Virb / Squarespace extended free account

W04         Editing Strategy and Graphic Style

  • InDesign template tutorial
  • File organization system
  • Book layout, graphics, and typeface
  • Collect 3 examples of desired graphic styles

W05         Information Design

  • Lecture on diagramming and information graphics
  • Create an information graphic as a navigating element

W06         Individual Critiques

 W07         Midterm

W08         Personal Branding

  • Resume and business card
  • Available services

W09         Work sample PDF

  • Create a 4-page summary of your work
  • Editing down to essence

W10         Packaging portfolio

  • How to print
  • Book format / Bounding services

W11         Individual Critiques


W12         Individual Critiques


W13         Individual Critiques


W14         Final Review

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